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Collaborative Project Identity Formation Process in Complex Projects

Emmanuel Nyameke, Harri Haapasalo, Kirsi Aaltonen


Currently, the increase in relational project contracts and integrated project deliveries indicates that companies should collaborate to facilitate more effective project delivery in industrial projects. Collaborative project identity is considered a core concept in the evaluation of processes involved in collaborations between industrial projects. The concept implies that a single identity, one in which collaborative values, collaborative working practices and cooperation are central, is beneficial to a project organisation’s self-image and can distinguish the organisation from other project organisations.

Therefore, this research aims to examine the processes involved in the formation of collaborative project identity in an industrial project. This identity cultivates a sense of joint belonging and a culture of cooperation that contributes to the success of a project. In order to acquire an in-depth understanding of this phenomenon, two projects were qualitatively researched as a case study of the processes involved in the formation of collaborative project identity in the delivery of an industrial project. More specifically, organisational documents, project materials, workshop materials, project websites and interviews were used as data collection sources.

The findings of this study revealed five steps in the formation of collaborative project identity: (1) establishing a collaborative sense of meaning and purpose; (2) establishing a sense of shared responsibility; (3) building mutual trust among all participants; (4) Establishing workforce diversity; and (5) designing appropriate collaborative project management information systems. These research results could be used to support the development and management of high-performing collaborative project teams. They could additionally assist collaborative project organisations in actualising the innovation potential of all participants collaborating in joint projects – in the best interest of the project.


collaborative project identity, complex projects, collaborative project delivery methods


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